Robby: Separation of Church and State and Intelligent Design Essay

Submitted By beasleycorner
Words: 1695
Pages: 7

Intelligent Design is religion disguised as science, and as such, should not be taught in our public schools.
Introduction
The town of Dover, PA looks like any other small towns in central Pennsylvania, but in
October 2004 when the local school board proposed a slight alteration to the high school biology curriculum a fault line erupted between those who think of intelligent design as science and something that should be taught alongside evolution, and those who think of it as religion disguised as science. As a science teacher myself, I was very interested in this subject, and how school districts nationwide are pushing initiatives recently to put intelligent design in their biology classes. These school districts are struggling with the dilemma of whether or not to teach creationism as an alternative view to evolution theory. If, as many scientific creationists believe, God's message is important in defining the content, aims, and conditions of educational practice, then creationism does belong in the classroom. However, those who propose that creationism is not science, and that "creation science" is a misnomer, are opposed to the intervention of religion into the public educational program; after all, public educational programs should be separate from concerns of the church. The Scientific Argument against Intelligent Design “Evolution has three core, defining elements, life forms change over time; they all descended from one or a few common ancestors; and natural selection produces these effects” (Slack 2007). But what exactly is Intelligent Design? Intelligent Design is a recent theory proposed that says that when you examine nature there are too many coincidences to the evolution of mankind, thus, there is an outside force that has been guiding evolution (Taylor and Ferrari, 2011). This outside force could be called God by some people. The phrase scientific creationism came into use in the early 1970s after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1968. After the court's 1968 decision which overturned the 1928 Arkansas law banning the teaching of evolution, it became increasingly clear to creationists that they would get into the public schools of America only by advocating an alternative scientific theory. Evolutionary theory is based on the principles expounded by Charles Darwin, whose theory of natural selection explains how species are in a continual process of adaption to their environments. A look at primitive man reveals that humanoids of today have evolved from a decidedly different-looking ancestor (Brockman, 2004). Religious conservatives, since the days of the Scopes Trials of the 1920s have argued that evolution should not be taught in our public schools, and favored teaching creationism. Scientists have argued that if one looks at the world clearly, it will be apparent that evolution is a fact. Although evolution is explainable by a theory, that theory is explainable by facts, creationism, as yet does not offer facts, only beliefs and belief systems. The main argument for evolution is that there is abundant, direct, observational evidence of evolution in action, from both field and the lab. Many, particularly Americans, feel that perhaps there is a place for both creationism and evolutionary theory, but not in the public school system where we are supposed to be teaching students truths based upon facts and the observable and not religious arguments. Oddly enough, according to a study by Taylor and Ferrari, the majority of Americans do not believe in evolution, even though most believe in plant evolution (Taylor and Ferrari, 2011, p. 152). But just because people do not accept a fact or it is unpopular, does not mean it should not be taught. Evolutionary fact, explainable by a theory, should remain in the science classroom. So why shouldn’t we teach…